Updated: Sep 9, 2018
Growing your business is all about raising brand awareness, increasing your connections and being better at it than your competitors.
Essentially you need to start with improving your search engine rankings and there are so many factors to consider when optimising your website it can be hard to know just where to begin. We've chucked together a bit of a search engine optimisation a.k.a. SEO checklist for small business to help get you started!
The core of SEO is target keywords. These are the words that your potential customers are searching for when they are trying to find a business or service like yours into Google. Target keywords should be relevant to your business or brand but should not be too broad. This means ensuring your web site contains all the relevant key words that your customers are going to use.
You will then need to do some keyword research to see if your site can actually rank for the keywords you have selected. Check out the competition before you do the work of optimizing your site. Search your words in Google to see who is ranking and how strong their website is.
This is a "techy" one! There are six heading tags H1 through H6 that are used to define hierarchy on your pages. Ideally you should have an H1 tag on every page of your site as it helps Google know what your page is about.
The title of your site is what shows up in Google search results. This is usually your business name plus one of your best target keywords. Your title should be between 10 and 70 characters in order to generate the best results. Avoid using generic descriptions for your pages like “Home” and instead use unique descriptions for each page. Each page should have a different title that makes sense for that page and includes the target keyword for that page.
A meta description is a short description of 160-300 characters that includes your target keywords and informs the searcher what your page is about. When writing your meta description, use words words that will entice potential customers to click on your site. You also need to be careful not to make your meta description is too long, otherwise Google will cut it off!
Alt text or alt tags are used to describe images on your site. Google can’t physically see the photos on your site but can pick up on these tags so that the search engine can get a better idea of what your page is about and be able to properly index your site. Your image alt tags should be descriptive and include keywords. But be careful not to stuff keywords into your descriptions.
Refresh your content
It’s not enough to just have a web site, you need to make sure it's current. If you haven’t updated your site in 10 years, Google may think that your content is now irrelevant. You do not have to totally revamp your site every other month. Add some additional copy here and there or maybe an additional page every so often.
We've spoken about this in previous blogs. How many times have you landed on a web site that was not mobile friendly and left it without even taking a look? Google now penalises sites for not being mobile friendly which can affect your rankings.